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First to Market

Where some just see a problem, entrepreneurs sense a business opportunity.

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An impressive example of management providing effective solutions for pressing social problems is the emergence of Internet safeguard services that parents can use to protect their children from potentially dangerous Internet sites and services. Firms like Cyber Patrol, CYBERsitter and Net Nanny quickly emerged in response to the cries of parents to protect their children from pornography, chat rooms that might be unfriendly to children and other adult-oriented Web-based fare.

History suggests that government regulation lags market reality by a number of years. It might have taken the federal government another five years to pass and enforce legislation that accomplished what these Internet safeguard firms did quickly in response to consumer demand. What many decried as an impossible social problem has proved to be a great business opportunity for many, as well as an effective social solution.

Excerpted from Ben Franklin's 12 Rules of Management